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IDP Rankings for 2019 Fantasy Football [Updated!]

Gary Davenport breaks out his positional and overall IDP Rankings for Fantasy Football 2019.

Opening night is almost here. In just over a week, the Green Bay Packers will travel to Chicago to face the Bears in the season opener for the 2019 NFL campaign. With it will begin another season in IDP leagues, with high-end options like Bears linebacker Roquan Smith and Packers linebacker Blake Martinez taking the field.

With the big day so close, many IDP leagues have already drafted. But wise fantasy drafters wait as long as possible before drafting. That way, your team doesn’t get trashed when a big-name player like Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James goes down with a serious injury.

James isn’t the only fantasy-relevant defensive player who has gotten hurt in camp and the preseason, and injuries aren’t the only thing that has shaken up the IDP hierarchy—there have been camp battles that haven’t quite gone according to plan and even a surprise release or two.

Here’s a look at the top 75 defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs for the 2019 season, updated to reflect the latest injuries and preseason developments—and a top 100 overall.

I’m helpful like that.

NOTE: These IDP rankings are based on a fairly straight-forward setup. Scoring that leans toward tackle-heavy, with two starters at each of the three main positions and a “flex” spot or two.


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2019 IDP Rankings

If you use the overall top 100 as a “draft by numbers” blueprint, you won’t wind up with the worst IDP squad. But you won’t have the best, either. Scoring systems, positional requirements, and the flow of a draft are all important considerations. But if you’re on the fence about two players at different positions and one is 15 slots higher in the overall IDP rankings it can settle those ties quite nicely.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN

The depth along the defensive front is better in 2019 than the last few years, thanks to an influx of young talent and a scheme switch or two. But the magic work on the defensive line remains scarcity.

In a 12-team league with a setup like this, the last few teams to select a second starter will be taking a risk of sorts. It’s advisable to be aggressive on the defensive line. Drafting at least one top-10 option is a necessity. Drafting a top-eight guy is better. Top-five is better still.

And more years than not I try to secure the services of two dependable, top-15 starters.

For the most part, the defensive linemen have been unable to avoid any calamitous developments. But there are a couple DL2 of note staring at an uncertain start to the 2019 season.

In Houston, edge-rusher Jadeveon Clowney still has yet to sign his franchise tender, and there’s growing sentiment that once he does the Texans will trade the first overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft. I haven’t dropped Clowney in my rankings because I still fully expect him to be on the field for Week 1. However, depending on where Clowney’s playing, he could move up or down a spot or three.

The No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft isn’t going anywhere—and that’s the problem. After spraining his ankle earlier this month, San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa has been declared “%0/50” for Week 1. Bosa’s about as NFL-ready as prospects get at his position, but between the missed practice reps and his shaky Week 1 status Bosa has fallen just outside DL2 territory in 12-team IDP leagues.

LINEBACKERS

In the vast majority of IDP scoring systems, the linebacker position forms the backbone of defensive lineups. They’re both the highest and most consistent scorers.

They’re the running backs of IDP—if this was 2009.

At least two of your first three defensive picks should be linebackers. In a format with “flex” positions you can bump that to three of the first four—you’re most likely going to want to flex a linebacker.

Nine times out of 10, I’ll have all my starting linebackers and defensive linemen before I consider drafting a defensive back—and as often as not I’ll have a reserve or two.

The linebacker position took a bit of a beating in the preseason, with a pair of weekly starters going down with major injuries. Avery Williamson of the Jets is done for the season after tearing his ACL, while Jarrad Davis of the Lions suffered a high ankle sprain that will likely sideline him until October at least. As if that weren’t bad enough, the replacements for both players aren’t especially clear, and it’s possible that both Detroit and New York will employ a rotation.

Some minor injuries have also clouded uncertain situations in places like Baltimore and Washington. It looked like Chris Board had won the right to start next to Patrick Onwuasor, but a concussion muddied the waters and offered youngster Kenny Young another opportunity to make his case. Shaun Dion Hamilton is similarly nicked up for the Redskins, and while I still have the youngster ranked higher than journeyman Jon Bostic, both are in the same tier and it’s Bostic who holds the most short-term value.

A case can be made for avoiding these muddied situations altogether where possible. Focus instead on low-end starters with clearer roles, like Cincinnati’s Preston Brown, Buffalo’s Matt Milano and Seattle’s K.J. Wright.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Defensive backs are two things—plentiful and unpredictable.

The depth at the defensive back spot dwarfs that of the other two positions. There will be startable matchup options available on the waiver wire well into the regular season.

There are going to be top-10 defensive backs who fall flat on their faces in 2019. And defensive backs ranked outside the top-40 (like Shawn Williams in 2018) who come from nowhere to post a big stat line.

It happens every single year.

The smart play at defensive back is patience. Let your league-mates reach for guys like Jamal Adams while you solidify your defensive line and linebackers. Then go for upside options in the later rounds.

If they work out, great. If they don’t, those matchup options will be waiting on the waiver wire.

There’s always volatility galore among the defensive backs, and the poster child for that volatility in 2019 is Minkah Fitzpatrick of the Miami Dolphins.

Entering the offseason, it looked like Fitzpatrick might be set to primarily play cornerback in 2019. Then injuries forced the second-year pro into a role as the team’s box safety. Now, after the somewhat surprising release of veteran T.J. McDonald, it appears that Fitzpatrick will move back to free safety while veteran (and one-time IDP stalwart) Reshad Jones slots at strong safety.

It’s a boost to Fitzpatrick’s IDP value, and there should be opportunities to produce at the back of a bad Miami defense. The constant musical chairs at safety for the team and Jones’ awful 2018 makes it hard to trust either Jones or Fitzpatrick as more than a late speculative pick though.

In Green Bay, former second-round pick Josh Jones was shown the door, opening up a real chance at significant snaps for rookie Darnell Savage. If the youngster from Maryland can stay on the field and plays to his potential Savage has a puncher’s chance at finishing 2019 as the top rookie defensive back, although my money’s still on Adrian Amos as the safety to own in IDP leagues in Titletown this year.

  • Overall

  • DL

  • LB

  • DB

RnkPlayerPos.TeamTier
1Darius LeonardOLBIND1
2Bobby WagnerILBSEA1
3Luke KuechlyILBCAR1
4Deion JonesILBATL1
5Blake MartinezILBGBP1
6Aaron DonaldDTLAR1
7Leighton Vander EschOLBDAL1
8J.J. WattDEHOU1
9Roquan SmithILBCHI2
10Jamal AdamsSNYJ2
11Myles GarrettDECLE2
12Cory LittletonILBLAR2
13Tremaine EdmundsILBBUF2
14Lavonte DavidOLBTBB2
15Landon CollinsSWAS2
16C.J. MosleyILBNYJ2
17Joe SchobertILBCLE2
18Joey BosaDELAC2
19Derwin JamesSLAC2
20Jaylon SmithILBDAL2
21Danielle HunterDEMIN2
22Keanu NealSATL2
23Christian KirkseyOLBCLE3
24John JohnsonSLAR3
25Cameron JordanDENOS3
26Kwon AlexanderOLBSFO3
27Budda BakerSARZ3
28Devin WhiteILBTBB3
29Calais CampbellDEJAX3
30Shawn WilliamsSCIN3
31Danny TrevathanILBCHI3
32Zach CunninghamILBHOU3
33Demarcus LawrenceDEDAL3
34DeForest BucknerDTSFO4
35Khalil MackOLBCHI4
36Melvin IngramDELAC4
37Jordan PoyerSBUF4
38Demario DavisOLBNOS4
39Frank ClarkDEKCC4
40Carlos DunlapDECIN4
41Zach BrownILBPHI4
42Devin BushILBPIT4
43Jayon BrownILBTEN4
44Justin ReidSHOU4
45Myles JackILBJAX4
46Akiem HicksDECHI4
47Kiko AlonsoOLBMIA4
48Jarrad DavisILBDET5
49Chris JonesDTKCC5
50Olivier VernonDECLE5
51Fred WarnerILBSFO5
52Trey FlowersDEDET5
53Nick VigilOLBCIN5
54Jadeveon ClowneyDEHOU5
55Anthony HitchensILBKCC5
56Everson GriffenDEMIN5
57Kevin ByardSTEN5
58Alec OgletreeILBNYG5
59Jessie BatesSCIN5
60Dee FordDEKCC6
61Avery WilliamsonILBNYJ6
62Antoine BetheaSNYG6
63Harrison SmithSMIN6
64Bradley McDougaldSSEA6
65Cameron HeywardDEPIT6
66Eric KendricksILBMIN6
67Clayton GeathersSIND6
68Damon HarrisonDTDET6
69Justin HoustonDEIND6
70Ha Ha Clinton-DixSCHI6
71Tyrann MathieuSKCC6
72Jamie CollinsOLBNEP6
73Jabaal SheardDEIND6
74Jordan HicksILBARZ7
75Kareem JacksonCBDEN7
76Tahir WhiteheadOLBOAK7
77Jurrell CaseyDETEN7
78Nick BosaDESFO6
79Justin EvansSTBB7
80Michael BennettDENEP7
81T.J. WattOLBPIT7
82Nigel BradhamOLBPHI7
83Reshad JonesSMIA7
84Jerome BakerOLBMIA7
85Vontaze BurfictOLBOAK7
86Sam HubbardDECIN7
87Anthony WalkerILBIND8
88Damarious RandallSCLE8
89Von MillerOLBDEN8
90Denzel PerrymanILBLAC8
91Benardrick McKinneyILBHOU8
92Adrian AmosSGBP8
93Shaun Dion HamiltonILBWAS8
94Jonathan AllenDEWAS8
95Johnathan AbramSOAK8
96Wesley WoodyardILBTEN8
97Chandler JonesOLBARZ8
98Fletcher CoxDT.PHI8
99K.J. WrightOLBSEA8
100Ronnie HarrisonSJAX8

RnkPlayerPos.TeamTier
1Aaron DonaldDTLAR1
2J.J. WattDEHOU1
3Myles GarrettDECLE1
4Joey BosaDELAC1
5Danielle HunterDEMIN1
6Cameron JordanDENOS2
7Calais CampbellDEJAX2
8Demarcus LawrenceDEDAL2
9DeForest BucknerDTSFO2
10Melvin IngramDELAC2
11Frank ClarkDEKCC2
12Carlos DunlapDECIN3
13Akiem HicksDECHI3
14Chris JonesDTKCC3
15Olivier VernonDECLE3
16Trey FlowersDEDET3
17Jadeveon ClowneyDEHOU3
18Everson GriffenDEMIN4
19Dee FordDEKCC4
20Cameron HeywardDEPIT4
21Damon HarrisonDTDET4
22Justin HoustonDEIND4
23Jabaal SheardDEIND4
24Jurrell CaseyDETEN5
25Nick BosaDESFO5
26Michael BennettDENEP5
27Sam HubbardDECIN5
28Jonathan AllenDEWAS5
29Fletcher CoxDT.PHI5
30Kenny ClarkDTGBP5
31Derek BarnettDEPHI5
32Marcus DavenportDENOS5
33Mario AddisonDECAR5
34Yannick NgakoueDEJAX5
35Jerry HughesDEBUF6
36Geno AtkinsDTCIN6
37Ed OliverDTBUF6
38Brandon GrahamDEPHI6
39Quinnen WilliamsDTNYJ6
40Denico AutryDTIND6
41Clelin FerrellDEOAK6
42Stephon TuittDEPIT6
43Leonard WilliamsDENYJ6
44Gerald McCoyDTCAR6
45Josh AllenDEJAX6
46Linval JosephDTMIN7
47Ezekiel AnsahDESEA7
48Brian BurnsDECAR7
49Carl NassibDETBB7
50Da'Ron PayneDTWAS7
51Emmanuel OgbahDEKCC7
52L.J. CollierDESEA7
53B.J. HillDTNYG7
54Henry AndersonDENYJ7
55Sheldon RichardsonDTCLE7
56Grady JarrettDTATL7
57Bruce IrvinDECAR7
58Kawann ShortDTCAR8
59Malik JacksonDTPHI8
60Jason Pierre-PaulDETBB8
61Chase WinovichDENEP8
62Sheldon RankinsDTNOS8
63Robert QuinnDEDAL8
64DaShawn HandDTDET8
65Jerry TilleryDTLAC8
66Margus HuntDTIND8
67Arik ArmsteadDTSFO8
68Jarran ReedDTSEA8
69Trent MurphyDEBUF8
70Vita VeaDTTBB8
71Maurice HurstDTOAK8
72Rashan GaryDEGBP8
73Charles HarrisDEMIA8
74Christian WilkinsDTMIA8
75Larry OgunjobiDTCLE8

RnkPlayerPos.TeamTier
1Darius LeonardOLBIND1
2Bobby WagnerILBSEA1
3Luke KuechlyILBCAR1
4Deion JonesILBATL1
5Blake MartinezILBGBP1
6Leighton Vander EschOLBDAL2
7Roquan SmithILBCHI2
8Cory LittletonILBLAR2
9Tremaine EdmundsILBBUF2
10Lavonte DavidOLBTBB2
11C.J. MosleyILBNYJ2
12Joe SchobertILBCLE2
13Jaylon SmithILBDAL3
14Christian KirkseyOLBCLE3
15Devin WhiteILBTBB3
16Kwon AlexanderOLBSFO3
17Zach CunninghamILBHOU3
18Danny TrevathanILBCHI3
19Khalil MackOLBCHI4
20Demario DavisOLBNOS4
21Zach BrownILBPHI4
22Devin BushILBPIT4
23Jayon BrownILBTEN4
24Myles JackILBJAX4
25Kiko AlonsoOLBMIA4
26Jarrad DavisILBDET4
27Anthony HitchensILBKCC4
28Fred WarnerILBSFO4
29Nick VigilOLBCIN5
30Alec OgletreeILBNYG5
31Eric KendricksILBMIN5
32Jamie CollinsOLBNEP5
33Jordan HicksILBARZ5
34Tahir WhiteheadOLBOAK6
35T.J. WattOLBPIT6
36Nigel BradhamOLBPHI6
37Vontaze BurfictOLBOAK6
38Jerome BakerOLBMIA6
39Anthony WalkerILBIND6
40Von MillerOLBDEN6
41Denzel PerrymanILBLAC6
42Benardrick McKinneyILBHOU6
43Shaun Dion HamiltonILBWAS6
44Wesley WoodyardILBTEN6
45Chandler JonesOLBARZ6
46K.J. WrightOLBSEA6
47Kyle Van NoyILBNEP7
48Shaq ThompsonOLBCAR7
49Todd DavisILBDEN7
50Rashaan EvansILBTEN7
51Preston BrownILBCIN7
52Matt MilanoOLBBUF7
53Mark BarronILBPIT7
54Patrick OnwuasorILBBAL7
55Bradley ChubbOLBDEN7
56Jatavis BrownOLBLAC7
57Sam EguavoenOLBMIA7
58Reggie RaglandILBKCC7
59Jon BosticILBWAS7
60De'Vondre CampbellOLBATL8
61Haason ReddickILBARZ8
62Jermaine PrattOLBCIN8
63Anthony BarrOLBMIN8
64Jahlani TavaiILBDET8
65Neville HewittILBNYJ8
66Raekwon McMillanILBMIA8
67Brandon MarshallILBOAK8
68Vince WilliamsILBPIT9
69Dont'a HightowerOLBNEP9
70Quincy WilliamsOLBJAX9
71Thomas DavisOLBLAC9
72Lorenzo AlexanderOLBBUF9
73Oren BurksILBGBP9
74Kenny YoungILBBAL9
75Deone BucannonILBTBB9

RnkNamePos.TeamTier
1Jamal AdamsSNYJ1
2Landon CollinsSWAS1
3Keanu NealSATL1
4John JohnsonSLAR1
5Budda BakerSARZ1
6Shawn WilliamsSCIN2
7Jordan PoyerSBUF2
8Justin ReidSHOU2
9Kevin ByardSTEN3
10Jessie BatesSCIN3
11Antoine BetheaSNYG3
12Harrison SmithSMIN2
13Bradley McDougaldSSEA3
14Clayton GeathersSIND3
15Ha Ha Clinton-DixSCHI3
16Tyrann MathieuSKCC3
17Kareem JacksonSDEN3
18Reshad JonesSMIA4
19Damarious RandallSCLE4
20Adrian AmosSGBP4
21Johnathan AbramSOAK4
22Ronnie HarrisonSJAX4
23Morgan BurnettSCLE4
24Kenny VaccaroSTEN4
25Earl ThomasSBAL4
26Malcolm JenkinsSPHI4
27Justin SimmonsSDEN4
28D.J. SwearingerSARZ4
29Sean DavisSPIT5
30Micah HydeSBUF5
31Vonn BellSNOS5
32Eric ReidSCAR5
33Donte JacksonCBCAR5
34Quandre DiggsSDET5
35Minkah FitzpatrickSMIA5
36Marcus MayeSNYJ5
37Jaquiski TarttSSFO5
38Justin EvansSTBB5
39Terrell EdmundsSPIT5
40Eric WeddleSLAR5
41Kyle FullerCBCHI6
42Eddie JacksonSCHI6
43Devin McCourtySNEP6
44Jaire AlexanderCBGBP6
45Tony JeffersonSBAL6
46Jabrill PeppersSNYG6
47Darnell SavageSGBP6
48Bashaud BreelandCBWAS7
49Jordan WhiteheadSTBB7
50Jalen MillsCBPHI7
51James BradberryCBCAR7
52Ronald DarbyCBPHI7
53Malik HookerSIND7
54Eli AppleCBNOS7
55Logan RyanCBTEN7
56Marshon LattimoreCBNOS7
57Juan ThornhillSKCC7
58Kendall FullerCBKCC7
59Terrance MitchellCBCLE7
60Adrian PhillipsSLAC8
61Jalen RamseyCBJAX8
62Rodney McLeodSPHI8
63Quinton DunbarCBWAS8
64Jahleel AddaeSHOU8
65Tre FlowersCBSEA8
66Desmond KingCBLAC8
67Robert AlfordCBARZ8
68Nasir AdderleySLAC8
69Kenny MooreCBIND8
70Byron JonesCBDAL8
71Prince AmukamaraCBCHI8
72Damontae KazeeCBATL8
73Steven NelsonCBPIT8
74Pierre DesirCBIND8
75Xavier WoodsSDAL8

Are you onboard with Gary’s 2019 IDP Rankings? If so you should check out his full archive for more great rankings and analysis.


A member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and Pro Football Writers of America who resides in Columbus, Ohio, Gary Davenport has been featured on a number of fantasy websites and in nationally circulated publications, including the USA Today Fantasy Football Preview and the magazines distributed by Fantasy Sports Publications Inc., for whom Gary is both a contributing author and associate editor. Gary is an eight-time FSWA Award finalist and two-time winner who has been a finalist for that organization’s Fantasy Football Writer of the Year award each of the last three years. He won the honor in 2017. Gary also appears regularly on Sirius XM Radio (including live from Radio Row at Super Bowl XLIX) and over-the-air stations across the country. He knows football. Or so he’s heard.


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13 Comments
  1. Dustin Parker Anderson says

    Dee Ford is with San Francisco now.

  2. John kiz says

    Devin white and ESPECIALLY Devin bush are too low on this list.

  3. Mike C says

    Where is Panthers Safety Eric Reid on the list of DBs? Thanks

  4. Doug says

    No Rashaan Evans?

  5. Jeff Smith says

    What scoring format are you basing these on? I am setting up IDP for the first time in our league and a unsure of the best scoring.

  6. Jeff says

    In an IDP dynasty keeper league. But this league starts 6 offensive players and 6 defensive players. You start 2 LB 2DL 2DB. Of my 5 keepers I kept 4 offensive players and 1 defensive Lavonte David. Since a keeper league some players are gone. If you had first pick and JJ watt Joey Bosa Bobby Wagner and Deon Jones are there who would you take keeping in mind you have David. Thanks for the advice.

    1. Gary Davenport says

      Might be tempted to go with Watt. Toss-up between him and Wagner. Can’t go wrong either way.

  7. Shayne Donohue says

    Thanks Gary. I’m thinking of trading away Khalil Mack as he got moved to LB in my league and I already have Trevathan (Bears), A. Hitchens (KC) and Onwuasor (Balt.) at LB. Thoughts?

    You have three Bears LBs ranked in the top 19 LBs here. That doesn’t seem practical to me. There can’t be that many tackles to go around at one position on one team. Why is Onwuasor ranked so low after being named the signal caller on defense?

    Thanks! Keep up the great work. I appreciate your content and feedback.

    1. Gary Davenport says

      Mack’s ranking is more about his ability to make big plays than rack up tackles. Being a signal-caller doesn’t automatically equate to IDP studliness–I’m not sold on Peanut as a talent. So far as Tavai goes, his fantasy relevance could have an expiration date once Davis’ ankle heals.

  8. Your Uncle Dodge says

    Jahlani Tavai is the dot-wearing MLB in Detroit.

  9. Shayne Donohue says

    Pick one. Why? Thanks

    Hamilton, Shaun Dion LB WAS or Haason Reddick LB ARI

    1. Gary Davenport says

      That’s a relatively close call. Both are essentially dart throws. Reddick’s a bit more proven and his role is a little more certain, but Dion Hamilton’s ceiling is higher. I tend to go for the upside with guys like that.

  10. Gregory Francesca says

    Is Devin Bush worth starting? Pitt makes him backup to Barron? Outlook on ROS?

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